And now both the BC NDP and the BC Green Party have given it their blessing.
What's wrong with it?
Couple of things ...
1)The 207 hectares of farmland to come out of the Agricultural Land Reserve via the band. It is to be paved over to park containers for Campbell's pet Roberts Bank Deltaport expansion.
2)Campbell's disregard of both DFO and Environment Canada reports on likely damage to Fraser River salmon and wildlife, including adjacent Burns Bog
3)The $15,000 cash payout to select elders from Campbell upon ratification
4)The stacked voting :
From FN activist Bertha Williams prior to the vote :
"The chief and council of our band ... use such trickery as an “enrollment application” in order to vote on the treaty. In the application there is a section where we have to relinquish our claim to our inherent rights.
If we don’t enroll, we are not allowed to vote. This would pave the way for a more secure “yes” vote."
The First Nations people involved should never have been put in this terrible position, but I don't want to hear the words "green" or "sustainability" or "stewardship of the earth" out of the NDP or the Greens again for a long long time.
UPDATE : The other side of this coin. From Chris in comments :
"TFN has been hollaring for years about the damage in the estuary to fish stocks and migratory birds, but they were dismissed for decades as lunatics. When everyone else was ignoring the damage of Roberts Bank and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal, TFN was on top of it. When they eventually built the development at Tsatsu shores (without the city of Delta letting them hook up into their sewar system) to create some economic development for the band, everyone screamed about how they had destroyed the environmental conditions of Roberts Bank.
TFN is completely surrounded by agricultural, special Crown and private land. I am a supporter of the ALR, but First Nations were never consulted when it was created, in violation of now established Aboriginal rights. If TFN is to be a viable community, they need more land. What are the options?
It strikes me as funny that the people who oppose this treaty are quoting a "First Nations activist", Bertha Williams. It's as if there is a need to find the "activist" in the community and support her position, regardless of what she is saying. The irony is that the TFN were one of the most politically active bands for decades, trying to get the surrounding communities of Delta and Ladner to pay attention to them. They never garnered much support then, when Kim Biard and her predecessors were confronting the red neck citizens of Ladner and Delta. Now they are somehow sell-outs and pariahs?
As for the link to the Tyee story by Rafe Mair (I mean, c'mon, Rafe Mair?) there is a good reason for allowing non-residents of TFN to vote: they are citizens and Aboriginal rights are held collectively by the citizens of a Nation, not the residents of a reserve. Why shouldn't the governments be on the hook for helping the enrolment vote take place? The reserve system and federal and provincial policies divided First Nations communities in the first place, and having TFN hemmed in by developments and land designations that they never had a say in means that there is limited ability for all Nation members to be on reserve.
The TFN agreement may not be the model of sustainability and the provincial government's plans for Deltaport may be egregious, but it strikes me that one of the best reasons for a treaty is that it finally involves the greenest party of the three in the mix, and, based on their track record, I trust TFN infinitely more than any other level of government to steward the land properly. Given all the damage done there already, it's a tough job, but finally the future of south Delta includes one sane voice in the mix of development-crazy mayors, politicians and CEOs.
I wish them the best of luck "